It’s a wrap: Denver Auto Show and its related events were among the best ever

April 2017

This has been a very eventful spring. The Colorado Senate has passed SB17-240, the Sunset Review Bill and it’s awaiting action by the House of Representatives.

And, of course, we are celebrating another very successful trio of events: the Denver Auto Show, Charity Preview Party (CPP) and Innovative Dealer Summit (IDS).

This year’s Innovative Dealer Summit was the first CADA has put on that has lasted two full days. The digital world is moving so fast and there are so many new developments in technology that it made sense. And while there are many other educational events for dealers, such as Digital Dealer and NADA, IDS is specifically created by CADA and tailored to dealer principals and GMs. I think it’s fair to say that it’s one of the best of its type anywhere in the country.

Speakers were the best ever

It’s also fair to say that this year’s event attracted the highest profile speakers we’ve ever had – the real movers and shakers in the automotive digital world. For example, we had Mark O’Neill, COO of Cox Automotive, as well as Guy Schueller, industry director at Google Automotive and Eddy Viola, automotive client partner at Facebook. These are definitely top-tier folks and it’s a testament to the event’s growing stature — and to the CADA team’s hard work, that we hosted them.

Although not record-breaking, attendance at IDS was good at 275. As Arnold Tijerina, our VIP concierge observed, most of the attendees were very engaged dealer principals and GMs. “The dealers were really invested in learning,” he said. I certainly wished that I’d been able to have more folks from my dealership attend. Unfortunately, some of them had to stay to keep the business running!

Industry outsiders added a new perspective

One thing in particular that made IDS 2017 a cut above was the speakers from outside the industry. As Arnold observed, “It’s good to have people with different perspectives and advice, especially since the auto industry is typically about five years behind the rest of the retail world.”

We’ve received positive reports from dealers, as well as speakers and vendors. Several vendors told me that they believe they make better connections at our event than at others.

We had a great mix of different types of vendors. They were all cutting edge and offered new ideas as well as the standards. These were among the comments CADA received:

  • You have more dealers than at any event.
  • I can’t thank you enough.
  • What a wonderful event!
  • I want to thank you and your staff for an excellent Innovative DealerSummit.
  • It was exceptional!
  • This is an absolute first-class event; I have learned a lot.

Denver Auto Show topped other years

IDS took place along with the Denver Auto Show and the Charity Preview Party at the Colorado Convention Center. I think this was the best auto show we’ve had so far.There were great displays from the manufacturers and great attendance.

It’s amazing how much is happening on the technology side of manufacturing, and, of course, the public is interested in seeing what new features are being offered.

Thanks for supporting your brands

Thanks to all of you for supporting your brands. As a dealer who represents a smaller brand, we had to send people to man the displays, so I appreciate the work that goes into pulling it off and making some sales out of the show.

Charity Preview Party: A great success

The Charity Preview Party was the smoothest-flowing and best-organized event we’ve ever had. Rod Smith was a fantastic celebrity VIP. He was very personable and engaged — and even willing to strike a pose with everyone he talked to, including Yours Truly.

My sincerest thanks to Anthony Brownlee for the work he put in chairing the Denver Auto Show and the Charity Preview Party— and, of course, to our outstanding CADA staff for what was indeed a superior job… again.

Kind regards,

Ed Dobbs, Chair
Colorado Automobile Dealers Association